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"Architecture, Essay on Art", trans

Boullée promoted the idea of making architecture expressive of its purpose, a doctrine that his detractors termed architecture parlante (“talking architecture”), which was an essential element in Beaux-Arts architectural training in the later 19th century. His style was most notably exemplified in his proposal for a cenotaph for the English scientist Isaac Newton. The building itself was a 150 m (500 ft) tall sphere encompassed by two large barriers circled by hundreds of cypress trees. Though the structure was never built, its design was engraved and circulated widely in professional circles. Boullée’s Cenotaph for Isaac Newton is a funerary monument celebrating a figure interred elsewhere. The small sarcophagus for Newton is placed at the lower pole of the sphere. The design of the memorial creates the effect of day and night. The night effect occurs when the sarcophagus is illuminated by the sunlight coming through the holes in the vaulting. This gives the illusion of stars in the night sky. The day effect is an armillary sphere hanging in the center that gives off a mysterious glow. The Buildings Design use of light causes the buildings interior to change its appearance.

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The reconstruction of the Solomonic Temple in freemasonic thought, represented both the intention to imitate the rules of a "divine" architecture and to apply the natural laws of proportion and balance as part of the search for an individual and common purification. The Temple was the greatest achievement of Architecture in ancient society, and so the preliminaries to a purification of society and a reconstruction of the last values of that ancient society were achievable by reconstructing the Temple. The Temple became a moral edifice as an example of what was noble and splendid and true in the first ages of the world. In eighteenth century England, Shaftesbury - who most probably was a freemason (45) (Fig. 3) - revived this concept of the moral function of art applying to the Neoplatonic concept of architecture as the first manifestation of the cosmic order, his Moral philosophy of the "beautiful balanced soul" thus asserting the correspondence between the harmony of the soul and the harmony of Architecture (46). As a result, architecture becomes expression of the "Inner Beauty" that is the Morality and Virtue of his creator: "..The beauty and effect of their art consists in representing moral truth (inward numbers) by means of harmonious symbols (outward numbers) (47)."

Boullee architecture essay on art and craft - Suzuki Bandung

Boullee architecture essay on art and craft

Moreover, emerging Freemasonry was also influenced by the Renaissance concept of the architect (11). In the fifteenth and sixteenth century, the architect came to occupy a remarkably exalted position in Renaissance thought. The Vitruvian concept of the architect and the techniques and styles of architecture detailed by Vitruvius were held not only to be relevant to the education of architects but to be essential elements in the education of a gentleman. In Vitruvius's main work (first translated into English in the eighteenth century), the architect is seen as the master of all the arts central to human knowledge, including the mathematical arts, thus becoming the Renaissance ideal, the Universal Man (12). The great Stuart architect Inigo Jones, who first made the English public acquainted with Palladian principles of proportion and design, was thought to possess the Vitruvian pretensions of the architect (13). In 1624, in a satire, Ben Jonson wrote about him :

It was only in 1717 when Modern English Freemasonry was finally organized under the Grand Lodge of London, formed by the union of four London lodges, that the philosophical symbolism was officially recognized and with it the moral significance of the tools and methods used in the building trade. Utensils such as the square stood for righteousness, justice and virtue and the compass circumscribed moral behaviour and served as a measurement for harnessing the passions: " keep within the compass and you will be sure to avoid many dangers which others endure (15)." The level symbolized equality, the plumb rule and uprightness, the trowel for " spreading the cement of brotherly love (16)." The unhewn stone, or rough ashlar, that is part of the furniture of every Masonic lodge, is said to represent "man in his infant or primitive state, rough and unpolished", the polished stone or perfect ashlar represented man "in the decline of years, after a regular well spent life in acts of piety and virtue (17)." (Fig. 1)

Boullee architecture essay on art history

Boullee architecture essay on art painting

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Boullee architecture essay on art deco
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Etienne louis boullee architecture essay art projects

At Rousham, according to MacClary's letter (1750), a pyramid building was also erected in the garden in 1738/39, while in the Praeneste the presence of a statue of Mercury/Hermes is mentioned. This mythological figure is also present at Chiswick House. As explained by Jane Clarke, the ceiling painting in the Red Velvet Room portrays the resurrection of the arts by Hermes/Mercury. The masonic symbols of mallet, compass and square are all present. The painting is dominated by Hermes accompanied by two putti, one holding a jewel and one a cornucopia, another masonic symbol. The central panel of the ceiling is surrounded by other signs of the zodiac with their Gods. The study of the stars was an important aspect of Hermetic philosophy and key to secret knowledge (62). The signs of the Zodiac adorn the ceiling of many a lodge and this supports Clarke's thesis of the use of Chiswick House as a masonic temple. What may also be interesting is the fact that Burlington based the Assembly Room at York on Palladio's Egyptian Hall and the lodge at Edinburgh and Dublin, to mention but two, are Egyptian Halls.

Boullee architecture essay on art and literature

William Kent, was probably aware of the meanings associated with the obelisk and the pyramidal form, since, not only did he design an obelisk for Thomas Coke's country estate at Holkham Hall, he also placed a stepped pyramid over the central block of his Temple of British Worthies at Stowe (Fig. 21). Within the oval niche of the aforementioned pyramid was set a bust of Mercury. Mercury was an important figure for freemasons as his Greek name was Hermes, the messenger of the Gods, the herald and keeper of mysteries and also the god of trial and initiation. He was called Trismegistus, the Thrice-Greatest Hermes who was identified with Euclid (and hence with Pythagoras) and after whom Hermetic (or Egyptian) wisdom was named (61).

Etienne louis boullee architecture essay artikel

Pope's preference for pyramids is testified by his letter to Lord Bathurst where he advised his friend to consider building a pyramid in his park (57). The English architect Hawksmoor designed the pyramid that decorates the landscape of Castle Howard (Fig. 16). In that same garden Lord Carlisle engaged Vanbrugh to design together with the gateway surmounted by a heavy pyramid, an obelisk (1714) on the approach road to Castle Howard (Fig. 17-18). The fact that the obelisk was intended as a reference to Egypt—though it was amply favoured by the Romans as funerary architecture—is clear by the following letter written in 1742 by Pope (who erected an obelisk in his own garden), where he advised his friend Martha Blount to build an obelisk in her garden at Sherbourne Park in Dorset in honour to the family of Lord Digby:

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